Justice Integrity Project Editor's Introduction: Guest columnists J. Michael Springmann, right, and Edward C. Corrigan, share below a column about the dangerous increase in self-censorship by media aggregators like Google that work closely with U.S. political authorities to censor political communications under the guise of "national security," opposition to michael springmann"fake news" or other buzzwords.

In this instance, Google and several other web platforms closely connected with the U.S. political and financial establishment disabled unilaterally a month ago the platforms of Iran's Press TV and its affiliate HispanTV. The latter interviewed this editor on May 8 about political developments in the U.S. capital regarding the U.S. Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr.

As in the past with this outlet, the on-camera interview was conducted by an experienced and capable producer, Alfredo Miranda, formerly of the prominent mainstream network Univision. Aside from questions from an experienced producer with more historical knowledge than most, the content was little different than that voiced by this editor in any other venue (including politically conservative U.S. broadcast outlets) or coverage provided by commentators on many other U.S.-based media throughout the same day.

The main difference is that someone decided for unknown reasons — presumably because of ramped-up U.S. government sanctions against Iran — that U.S. media should march in mohammad mossadeqlockstep to suppress the outlets. Google and similar high-tech companies are tightly connected with elite intelligence and Wall Street circles.

Current news coverage (excerpted in an appendix below) might be similar among outlets. But only global, independent or alternative voices are likely to mention the CIA's covert 1953 role in the coup overthrowing Iran's democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadeq, left, which led to current crises.

The 1953 coup installed a repressive pro-American shah who protected Anglo-American oil interests until his ouster during the 1979 Islamic rebellion. Another result of coup was the Iran-Contra Affair, whereby members of the Reagan-Bush Administation during the 1980s illegally facilitated the secret sale of arms to Iran in order to use the proceeds to fund the right-wing Contras in Nicaragua.

William Barr, the current U.S. attorney general, was a high-ranking Justice Department official (shown as attorney general in 1992) during those years who helped the administration cover up the scandals, including by thwarting then Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh and by assisting President william barr o 1992George H. W. Bush in arranging 1992 pardons for six leading administration officials implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal.

The authors below tell the Google censorship story in more detail.

By J. Michael Springmann and Edward C. Corrigan

What? On April 19, 2019 (the date of the original Patriots' Day in New England), American tech giant Google disabled the accounts of Press TV, an Iranian news service, and its sister channel HispanTV, an outlet in Spain. Google denied their access to all its services, including its popular video streaming platform YouTube and its E-mail service Gmail. The google logo customcompany's move took place without prior notice or subsequent explanation.

The action's date is particularly significant to Americans. That day marked the beginning of the American Revolution. It saw the first armed engagement between British soldiers and colonial militiamen at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. Patriots' Day was intended to commemorate the colonists' fight to win freedom from British rule.

But, nearly 250 years later, it observes the loss of that freedom to invisible, uncontrollable organizations.

Google and Facebook, and other social media giants, have been accused of altering search algorithms to slant or even hide information that departs from the government or corporate agenda. Independent media sources on the right and on the left have complained that searched results are tainted and being secretly manipulated on a grand scale. Now the censorship is being imposed openly in the name of political correctness and social harmony.

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The historian and investigative journalist Anton Chaitkin spoke May 1 at the National Press Club on “Reviving Promethean America: Why Only Heroic Politics Will Work Now.”

The Anglo-American establishment reversed the strategy that made America powerful and humane, according to Chaitkin, shown below at right. Chaitkin’s new book-in-progress, American anton chaitkin headshotPrometheus: Progress, vs. Empire, from Franklin to Kennedy, shows how Americans challenged imperial economics and built modern times.

His theme: "Only a shocking fight for deeply principled solutions based on industrial and scientific progress could possibly pull us out of the current nightmare."

anton chaitkin prometheus stole fire from zeusThe public was invited to his dinner lecture before the club's Sarah McClendon speaker society, named in honor of the late White House correspondent and former president of the Washington, DC-based club.

The book's first chapters are available for free online here.

Below is a summary of the book and his talk, with the text of the talk here on his website. Illustrations are from the book, which draws from traditional civic stories to illustrate our current possibilities:

Prometheus defied Zeus, the god-image of those rulers who wish humanity to live in darkness, or to be slaughtered.

Prometheus gave to man heaven’s powerful secret, fire; for which he was tortured by Zeus.

"Prometheus ... found the other animals well off for everything, but man naked, unshod, unbedded, and unarmed ... Prometheus therefore ... stole from Hephaestus [god of fire and metalworking] and Athena [goddess of wisdom and civilization] the gift of skill in the arts, together with fire - for without fire it was impossible for anyone to possess or use this skill - and bestowed it on man…. Through this gift, man had the means of life.”

                                                                                               -- Plato, Protagoras

Prometheus once found a congenial home in America, Chaitkin argues, and may yet again.

Speaker Background

Before addressing Chaitkin's hopeful scenario on the next page of this column, we provide some of his background.

Chaitkin, who worked in politics with Lyndon LaRouche since 1966 until the latter's death, is the author of hundreds of scoops on economic and political history, in part via his work as the history editor for Executive Intelligence Review.

webster tarpley anton chaitkin george bush cropped coverChaitkin's father, a New York attorney, had fought in the courts to break up the Wall Street and London sponsorship of Adolf Hitler's dictatorship in Germany.

Many of the lawsuits were against international Nazi interests managed by Prescott Bush, the father and grandfather of the two Bush Republican presidents.

At the elite Wall Street investment bank Brown Brothers Harriman, Prescott Bush was junior partner to the railroad heir Harriman, a Yale Skull and Bones member who worked, as documented in the book and elsewhere, with his fellow member Bush on helping to fund Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany

Harriman, shown below with President Kennedy in a photo from the JFK Library in Massachusetts) later became New York's governor and a major kingmaker in State Department, Democratic Party and national affairs.

averell harriman jfk jfk libraryChaitkin's 1985 book on American political history, Treason in America: from Aaron Burr to Averell Harriman documented from archives of "blue-blood" families, among other sources, the takeover of U.S. policymaking by agents and allies of the British empire. The book is regarded as a classic of investigative history in its field, with 100,000 copies sold. It has been long out of print but has been reissued in a Kindle edition.

In 1992, Anton Chaitkin co-authored with Dr. Webster G. Tarpley George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography.

The book revealed and addressed major scandals in the Bush family that helped change the course of American history.

Some analysts suggest that the biography, although widely ignored by the mainstream media, helped thwart Bush's 1992 re-election effort because some opinion leaders (including supporters of Independent candidate Ross Perot) became better aware of the Bush family's past and were determined to seek an alternative to the incumbent Bush, who was running against Perot and Democrat Bill Clinton..

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Justice Integrity Project Editor's Introduction: Guest columnist Thomas Maier, right, shares below an excerpt from his most recent book, Mafia Spies: The Inside Story of the CIA, thomas maier portrait2Gangsters, JFK and Castro. Maier is an award-winning author, journalist, and film maker who vividly portrays how the CIA was influenced by James Bond novels during President Kennedy's era.

The column draws on original reporting to provide an entertaining view of the intersection between two enduring pop heroes, the fictional James Bond and the young president, JFK,shown below.

The background, however, was deadly serious at times. Bond's creator Ian Fleming, had been a high-level executive in British Naval intelligence. Kennedy's jfk portrait w Custominterest in the novels came at the same time that CIA operatives were conspiring with Mafia members to overthrow Cuba's leader Fidel Castro, who was seeking at the same time to protect himself and his government by allying with the Soviet Union. The events preceded Kennedy's own assassination in 1963, which many researchers link to the CIA, Mafia and / or Cuba natives.

 

By Thomas Maier 

During America’s 1960 presidential campaign, Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro and his Russian-backed Communist regime loomed as one of the nation’s top issues. Rumors of a pending U.S. invasion were rampant. And talk about spying floated in the air, thanks to the popular novels about the adventures of the fictional British secret agent, James Bond.

But in real-life, only a few knew of the CIA’s top-secret plan for assassination of Castro by two mobsters, Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli — apparently not even the candidates allen dulles time coverthemselves. This disquieting fact left CIA director Allen Dulles and others in the agency feeling quite vulnerable.

“Everyone had to face the reality of a possible change in political direction,” recalled Richard Bissell, second-in-command to Dulles, shown at right. “Eisenhower was leaving office after two terms, and depending on which of the candidates, Richard M. Nixon or John F. Kennedy, succeeded him, an entire modification of the Cuban operation and other covert activities might conceivably take place in the near future.”

thomas maier mafia spiesBissell first briefed Nixon, the GOP nominee, in March 1960 about the agency’s covert Cuba operations — including use of “goon squads” paid to undermine Castro’s supporters — but with no mention of impending assassination attempts. In July 1960, after Kennedy became the Democratic nominee, Eisenhower directed the CIA to brief JFK on Cuba and other agency activities abroad.

Dulles met personally with the candidate at the Kennedy summer home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Both men remained cryptic about their discussion.

“It is not my practice to give interviews,” Dulles told the press, as the two posed for photographs. He later minimized its significance: “I just told Kennedy what he could’ve read in the morning Times.”

The New York Times, like others in the media, portrayed the meeting as cordial and introductory, as “this tour of Mr. Dulles’ carefully concealed world.” But in fact, the Hyannis Port meeting was part of Dulles’ campaign to keep his job at the CIA. His behind-the-scenes courting of the Kennedys began years earlier and was far more extensive than most anyone knew, including Nixon.

Dulles focused his attention on Joseph P. Kennedy, the family patriarch (shown in a 1938 photo when he was U.S. Ambassador to the joseph kennedy sr 1938United Kingdom).

Years earlier, the two men had socialized at the Kennedys’ winter home in Palm Beach Florida, where they shared several wealthy friends. In 1956, Old Joe served briefly on a U.S. foreign intelligence advisory panel but came away unimpressed with the CIA. “I know this outfit and I wouldn’t pay them a hundred bucks a week,” he groused.

The following year, Dulles met privately with the senior Kennedy at the family’s Palm Beach estate and underlined his keen interest in remaining America’s espionage chief. “He (Dulles) is very aware of the fact that Jack may be the next President,” Joe wrote to a close confidant at the Vatican after the 1958 Dulles meeting, “and while he had always been very friendly to me, I think that he is more than ever anxious to please.”

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Stay alert and accessible — and treasure fairness — was the consensus message of expert media speakers at an April 25 conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Voicing those themes was luncheon keynote speaker Brian Stelter, chief media correspondent for CNN Worldwide and anchor of “Reliable Sources,” his network's weekly Sunday morning show analyzing media performance on news stories.

This column summarizes the conference, which was primarily organized by the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Following that summary, I'll illustrate how the term "conspiracy theory" has hobbled many journalists for decades from applying standard practices of fact-based reporting and fairness to life-and-death issues that are especially controversial.

brian stelter npc april 25 2019 jip img 6274Stelter's remarks followed a morning session featuring a dozen other media, academic and legal experts from diverse U.S. institutions. They similarly explored themes of the conference, which was entitled: Speech, Free Press or Free for All? Social Media and the First Amendment.

Stelter, pictured at left, began by praising social media from a general and personal standpoint. He noted that the web and social media had facilitated his rapid rise in journalism from blogging as an undergraduate at Towson University in Baltimore to being hired as a New York Times staff reporter as his first job out of college. He enthusiastically described meeting his future wife via Twitter.

The downside of new media, the CNN anchor noted, includes vast amounts of deceptive and hate-filled social media traffic that he, fellow journalists and the public must evaluate.

Like many previous speakers at the conference, Stelter advised journalists to implement standard practices, such as fairness, accuracy, critical intelligence and to avoid personal opinion, except where clearly labeled.

He illustrated these views by describing how he had recently engaged in a long and (from his viewpoint) productive on-camera interview with a video crew from the InfoWars radio show of Alex Jones, whom Stelter described as promoting a highly negative, long-running campaign that has demonized Stelter, his shows and his networks as "fake news." This is congruent to President Trump's insults against CNN.

alex jones headshotJones uses so little evidence and so much partisan bombast in his on-air screeds that he has been blocked by a number of major social media platforms and been forced to apologize or undergo defamation litigation by some whom he has targeted.

Among those obtaining belated apologies are the owner of a Washington DC pizzeria that Jones (shown at right) accused participating in a pedophile ring that didn't exist.

"Pizzagate" — as the concoction was dubbed by Jones and his political allies, and then the news media — included the preposterious allegation that prominent Democrats were torturing and otherwise abusing children in abandoned subway tunnels underneath a pizza shop far from any known subway tunnel. The accusations were hurled days before the November 2016 election as Donald Trump, Jones's preferred presidential candidate, was immersed in a sex scandal.

Jones and several radio guests also targeted parents of 2012 shooting victims at a school shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut by claiming that child actors pretended to be killed. Some of those parents are currently deposing Jones in a lawsuit showing what appears to be his extremely reckless charges, as reported here, among other places: How Alex Jones and Infowars Helped a Florida Man Stalk Sandy Hook Families.

Such major violations of the journalistic practices and other elements of the public trust have prompted many CNN journalists and others to label Jones a "conspiracy theorist." A  big problem here is that "conspiracy theorist" is a smear term that some smear term that some journalists commonly apply also to advocates of unpopular positions thought to be undocumented because of journalists' failure to examine them.

martin luther king npc 1962Beyond mere theories, they involved solid research that the demonstrates the impossibility of government accounts of the 1960s assassinations of President Kennedy in Dallas, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis and Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles, as well as the similarly improbability of explanations for the "9/11" attacks in September 2001. King is shown during his 1962 appearance at the National Press Club, whose historian described it as the first speech ever at the club by an African-American.  

As editor of the Justice Integrity Project, I reflected during the week's conference on whether and how to pose productive questions on certain of these issues to Stelter and to the other expert speakers, who are all listed below.

It's obvious to me from experience that most attempts to raise publicly certain hot-button issues in a way that challenges conventional wisdom often risk irritating event hosts, putting a speaker on the defensive, and otherwise foreclosing meaningful exchange of information.

So, at this conference, I chose to approach the speaker after his public remarks — and, unlike many journalists and others speaker in a similar situation — Stelter responded in what I regarded as a thoughtful, open, mutually productive manner congruent with his public remarks. Details are below.

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Dear Colleagues and Readers:

Our Justice Integrity Project this week plans to implement a new distribution system along with expanded coverage of justice-related news and commentary on under-reported issues.

An automated "opt-in" system via Mail Chimp will replace a previous distribution methods whereby notification of our web-based articles occurred via an RSS opt-in system and specialized email lists. Those lists include many of those receiving this notification because of your previously expressed interest in the topics.

Google has stopped fully supporting RSS feeds like our FeedBurner. This limited attractive photo layouts and other necessary design elements, such as brevity in new story alerts.

Subscribe to JIP Posts by email

The Mail Chimp system is a vast improvement that we hope you'll like along with our publication of hard-hitting investigative stories. Mail Chimp also makes it easy for you to opt out if you prefer by clicking its unsubscribe box at bottom. 

Our non-partisan project is now approaching its 10th year. Leadership remains with the original founding directors, shown here.

alberto gonzales doj wTo recap our history, the project began by reporting in-depth on scandals, primarily on U.S. federal prosecutions that were alleged as unfairly selective or political. Some arose out of the so-called U.S. Attorney firing scandal of 2006-2007 whereby such Bush Administration figures as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (right) and White House Senior Advisdor Karl Rove used the department to target political enemies and reward cronies.

We continued reporting on such prosecutions during the Obama and Trump administrations, including their new abuses, their cover-ups and their lack of reforms under such officials as Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder (left) and Trump's Jeff Sessions and William Barr.

Our coverage expanded to such related areas as judicial conduct, the political process by which prosecutors and judges are appointed, and the larger eco-systems eric holderinvolved in the politics of justice. These include examination of scandals and trends in the news media, prisons and non-criminal economic and social justice issues.

The ultimate political prosecution is "political assassination" and other state crimes against democracy such as election rigging. We do not shy away from these controversial topics. So, we have published "Readers Guides" summarizing major viewpoints on 9/11 and the deaths of the three iconic 1960s political leaders: John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

djt official SmallAlthough our focus is primarily on the United States, these issues are global, as is our coverage.

Thus, our focus has expanded considerably through the years. But we remain centered on the serious problems arising when government police power is used to destroy political enemies unfairly and to reward guilty political cronies. In such scandals, the "rule of law" becomes merely a slogan and not an operating principle.

All of this positions the Justice Integrity Project to bring extensive experience to the complex current controversies about investigations into the Trump administration.

 

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Justice Integrity Project Editor's Introduction: Guest columnists Cathleen McGuire and her twin sister Colleen McGuire address below the vital and timely topic of recent controversy between leading investigative reporters regarding the fate of the massive archive of classified U.S. national security documents stolen in 2013 by former NSA and CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden worked initially with freelance journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, who published blockbuster stories (most notably via The Guardian and the Washington Post) disclosing massive secret surveillance by U.S. intelligence services such as the NSA (National Security Agency), which had hired Snowden as a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor after his previous work at NSA and the CIA.

Edward SnowdenIn early June 2013, the first stories based on Snowden's huge trove of documents revealed the massive complicity of major U.S. communications companies in warrantless surveillances of Americans and others. NSA's charter supposedly prevented surveillance of Americans except incidentally via surveillance of foreigners or via probable cause documented in a warrant application.

Snowden, then 29 (and shown at right), said that he was releasing the materials as an act of conscience because of what he regarded as the unconstitutional scope of privacy invasions. Following a global, U.S.-led manhunt, he landed in Russia, where he remains under political asylum.

Poitras, a film maker, the journalist/attorney Greenwald and author/journalist Jeremy Scahill later that year co-founded The Intercept, a web-based investigative news site funded by a reported $250 million from Internet billionaire Pierre Omidyar, an eBay and PayPal founder.

Poitras, Greenwald and their colleagues, such as Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, received great recognition in terms of prizes, books, film treatments and other career advancement for their work. Others sharing in recognition included the New York Times and Germany's Der Spiegel.

In the column below, Cathleen McGuire, a truth activist based in New York City, and her sister Colleen, an attorney living in Greece, explore the recent controversy arising after The Intercept announced last month that it no longer planned to release investigative stories based on the Snowden documents and that it would be laying off most of its research staff associated with those documents.

laura poitras dmcaThe authors — and the sources they cite, including Poitras (shown at left) — allege that The Intercept and its parent company, First Look Media, are essentially privatizing and suppressing the fruits of Snowden's whistleblowing in a dubious manner threatening the public, whistleblowers and journalists elsewhere unless all become aware of the dangers of supposedly philanthropic funding of investigative journalism.

They assess the threat "as alarming as" the arrest this month of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London at Ecuador's embassy.

julian assange screenshot arrest (Ruptly)With Ecuador's permission, police arrested Assange (shown in a screenshot from a Ruptly video at right) on a charge of failure to comply with his bond conditions.

Looming in the background for him is a recently unsealed U.S. charge of conspiracy to help whistleblower Chelsea Manning expose war crimes with classified documents in 2010 and a Swedish request to face a claim (not a formal charge) that he committed sexual misconduct during his 2010 speaking trip to Sweden.

A lawyer for a woman who had invited him to sleep with her has said that his conduct during the night while she was asleep constitutes "rape" under Swedish law. Those definitions are quite different than under American law, as are Sweden's adjudication method in secret, non-jury trials that arguably pose a considerable threat to a defendant being selectively prosecuted,  as Assange's defenders have alleged.

Our project is among those describing both the U.S. and Swedish probes as highly political reactions to WikiLeaks publication of classified documents and, more generally, assaults on free press protections.

The co-authors cite as sources for their column today five recent reports — shown in a long appendix below — by prominent investigative journalists expressing similar dismay regarding the Snowden documents.

 

By Cathleen McGuire & Colleen McGuire

Billionaire Pierre Omidyar (right), the owner of the Snowden archives through his company, First Look Media, has shut down the analysis, release, and custodial care of the archives pierre omidyar twitterclaiming lack of funds. Since 2013, only 10% of the documents have been published.

The decision was made just this past March, 2019, with the full participation of Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, star journalists with The Intercept, one of First Look Media’s various properties, as reported by MintPress News.

Laura Poitras — who with Glenn Greenwald was originally given custody of the documents by Edward Snowden in 2013 and works for Field of Vision, a First Look film company —  was purposefully excluded from the decision, as was the company’s board of directors.

In 2014, Greenwald, Poitras, and Scahill launched The Intercept, an online publication whose initial raison d'etre was the reporting of the Snowden material. In short order, the effort of responsibly overseeing the security protocols and the analysis and release of the Snowden documents were turned over to a research group within First Look. (As planned, The Intercept went on to become the full news operation it is today.)

Aware of the historical significance of the Snowden cache, on March 13, Poitras went public informing the Daily Beast of the shutdown. On March 27, she released a series of emails which dramatically memorialized the play-by-play timeline. Poitras was basically screaming bloody murder as the research team investigating the valuable treasure trove was being eighty-sixed.

Glenn GreenwaldOn March 14, Greenwald (shown at left in a file screenshot from 2013) released a statement embedded in a tweet in which he represented that he, Poitras, and “other individuals and institutions” possess “full copies” of the archives. Who else has “full copies”? Snowden? Booz Allen Hamilton (Snowden’s employer at the time)? The CIA (Snowden’s one-time employer and NSA rival)?

Greenwald further represented that four media outlets — the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, and der Spiegel — “have possessed large parts” of the Snowden archives since 2013. He noted that these media companies have “budgets and newsrooms far larger” than The Intercept, implying that they are in a better position to take over the herculean effort of releasing and analyzing the remaining 90% of the unpublished documents.

However, it is disingenuous of Greenwald to insinuate that the four media companies who possess “large parts” of the archives have commensurate access to the archives as the alleged individuals and institutions who have “full” access. Furthermore, it is not clear if those “large parts” consist simply of the 10% of the archives already released.

With Omidyar in control of the goods, only a trickle of the Snowden archives has seen the light of day. Although technically the documents are not in danger of disappearing, now that the entire archives research staff has been eliminated, the risk of the archives being publicly memory-holed has significantly increased, as Poitras so urgently tried to publicize.

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